Chronically Crashed Car

"Why must everyone keep wrecking my car?!"
Kevin Levin, Ben 10: Alien Force, "Singlehanded"

This is a car that keeps getting destroyed, mostly in comedic situations. Because Status Quo Is God, and so the joke can continue, it always gets replaced or repaired, often by an exact duplicate to make filming easier.

Alternately (as in the case of many films), the car suffers from repeated accidents (often of increasing severity), until it is finally totaled or rendered inoperable in the end.

Compare The Chew Toy and They Killed Kenny, similar concepts that apply to characters rather than their cars. If the owner opts for the "repair" version of this trope, it may lead to the car becoming The Alleged Car. For added hilarity, try combining it with The Precious, Precious Car or Watch the Paint Job.


Anime and Manga
  • The Vice-Principal's beloved Toyota Cresta in Great Teacher Onizuka. Onizuka keeps on destroying it by accident.
  • The Mercedes-Benz SSK owned by Lupin III seems to be a favored target for fire, bombs, bullets, missiles, and demonic curses. It always reappears in tip-top shape by the next episode; presumably, Lupin is repairing his original car, as the SSK is one of the rarest cars in the world. Interestingly, his much less expensive Fiat 500 seems far less prone to being damaged in this fashion.
  • The various cars of Kelly in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
  • In Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Tsubasa jumping off of motorcycles into battle is enough of a running joke that she "leaves the image of buying an endless supply of bikes to jump off of", in the OVA.

Comic Books

Film — Animated
  • Beavis And Butthead Do America: The Movie features Tom Anderson's Camper, which suffers—in order—a broken fridge, a TV ruined by spilled cola, total destruction by flood from the Hoover Dam release, being torn apart by ATF agents, destruction in a 300 car pile-up, and being defiled by Beavis having A Date with Rosie Palms (as Cornholio).
  • Hoodwinked: the porcupine whose car seems to be ruined by trees. He shows up when Kirk is on a tree-cutting spree where his car gets crushed. It gets ruined again by another tree falling on him later (the result of Kirk and Wolf driving Kirk's tank-tread converted truck into a tree that is uprooted). A diferent driver appears earlier driving a similar blue sports car, who is startled enough when Red throws a book out of her treehouse that lands on his windshield that he swerves violently and crashes into a tree.

Film — Live Action
  • Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin from Star Wars has terrible luck with commanding anything. Every warship we have seen him personally command gets destroyed. The Carrion Spike gets stolen and eventually scuttled by Teller's group, The Sovereign gets blown up over Mustafar, and we all know what happens to Death Star (which finally takes him with it). In fact, one reviewer commented that Tarkin just keeps getting bigger and bigger ships and they keep getting destroyed in more spectacular ways.
  • The poor, poor pursuit special from Mad Max. Wrecked in the Road Warrior, wrecked in the game though apparently it's such a Cool Car that Scrotus left it in one piece, wrecked in Fury Road, fixed, and then wrecked again....
  • Trish's car from Jeepers Creepers may be considered this.
  • The Dude's poor car in The Big Lebowski. It gets shot, crashed into a telephone pole, stolen by teenagers, peed in by vagrants, crashed again, smashed with a baseball bat and finally set on fire.
    Dude: Well, they finally did it. They killed my fucking car.
  • Carl Bentley's police car in Jumanji.
    "FINE! TAKE IT!"
  • In the first big chase scene in The Marine, the police cruiser commandeered by Triton to chase his wife's kidnappers gets shot to hell, crashed into and slammed repeatedly, had close encounters with some explosives, and doesn't slow down one bit.
    Mook: Jesus, this guy's the frickin Terminator.
  • It's not the same car every time, but James Bond has a habit of destroying whatever Cool Car Q has provided him.
    • It gets lampshaded the Nightfire video game, when after taking damage on a vehicle mission, Q will quip:
      Q: Really 007? Just once I'd like to get a vehicle back in one piece.
    • In two films, Bond managed to not destroy his car, only damage it... only to destroy presumably the same car in the following film.
  • In Smokey and the Bandit, Sheriff Buford T. Justice's patrol car was the Timex watch of patrol cars. It took a licking and kept on ticking. In fact, it was one of the Running Gags throughout the trilogy that Buford's cruiser was on its last legs:
    • In the first movie, the top had been sheared off, and the wheels were starting to fall off.
    • In the second movie, it was sandwiched between two 18-wheelers, improbably folding it in half, and it was still driveable.
    • In the third movie, the entire body came off, leaving the car little more than an oversized bare-framed go-kart, with Junior having to hold up the light bar over his head so it could still be identified as a police cruiser.
  • The Rolls-Royce in The Gumball Rally.
  • Likewise, the Lincoln in Cannonball.
  • The Fenwick Express in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). No matter the incarnation, whenever one appears it will always be destroyed before the film is over. Even if he just got it brand new.
  • The black Dodge Charger in The Fast and the Furious and its sequels. Previously owned and built by Dom's father, it ends up crashing into a semi and rolling over after Dom's race against Brian. Letty takes it back home and repairs it. In the fourth film, Dom crashes and burns it in a smugglers' tunnel. This time it's Mia who puts it back together. It finally meets its end in the fifth movie when Hobbs T-bones it with his Gurkha. (Nevermind that it survived being T-boned by a prison bus in the same incarnation. And that it had had a full rollcage inside all the time.)
  • The Blues Brothers' car doesn't quite crash, but it gets into progressively more ludicrous(and strenuous) chases over the course of the movie, and at the end of the final one simply falls to pieces after finally getting Jake and Ellwood to their goal.
  • The Volkswagen Beetle in Follow That Bird doesn't take much damage per se, but over the course of the film is slowly devoured piece by piece by Cookie Monster, and returns to Sesame Street as little more than an engine, frame, and seats.

  • In The Dresden Files, the running joke is that Harry's old VW bug, the "Blue Beetle," keeps getting wrecked, but Harry has an awesome mechanic who keeps reviving it. By the later books, it has five or six different colors due to replacement doors/hoods/etc. from other VW bugs. It finally gets wrecked for good in Changes.
  • In Daniel Pinkwater's The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Winston and Walter's biology teacher, Miss Sweet, periodically excuses one of her students from class to go and drive her car from the garage to the parking lot behind the school. A substantial fraction of the student body will then arrive in the parking lot as soon as class gets out, because they can count on her to immediately drive the car into the nearest tree.
  • Stephanie Plum is notorious for having whatever she happens to be driving trashed Once A Volume, usually through no fault of her own.
  • Skulduggery Pleasants' Bentley. In the later books, it has been crashed and magically as well as physically repaired so many times that it is stated that if it gets so much as scratched again, it will implode, killing its occupants.

Live-Action TV
  • In Leverage, Hardison has gone through three different iterations of "Lucille", his spy van.
  • In Due South, Ray Vecchio drives a mint-green 1971 Buick Riviera. Unfortunately, Fraser keeps making plans that lead to it exploding, so it's not always the same mint-green 1971 Buick Riviera.
  • In Eureka, there's at least a 50% chance that any given experiment-of-the-week is going to entertainingly destroy Carter's Jeep. Henry attempts to defy this in "Up in the Air" by painting it with a protective osmium coating, but it only leads to the Jeep being literally lost in space. The Jeep was brought to life in the 2011 Christmas special due to some hologram wackiness, and had choice words for Jack for its constant abuse.
  • Mr. Bean has the Reliant Regal driven by Bean's nemesis, which gets tipped over or crashed every time it shows up.
  • On Dukes Of Hazzard:
    • The General Lee is an odd borderline example. It's not that the car gets wrecked all that often in-universe; the stunts they pulled with it, however, meant they had to go through 300 different cars over the course of the series for filming purposes. They eventually had to start using stock footage because that model of car was getting rarer by the stunt.
    • Played straight by the Sheriff's Office cars, which are constantly wrecked while trying to catch the Dukes.
  • Virtually all of the cars that last more than one episode of Canada's Worst Driver. Starting in Season 6, one modern sports car has been used per season as a recurring vehicle — predictably, it becomes the Chew Toy for the contestants. It got so bad for the Dodge Challenger in Season 7, that they gave it a funeral in the season finale!
  • One episode of Monk ("Mr. Monk And The Three Julies") has Stottlemeyer's new car fall victim to this trope.
  • Not a car, but Starbug in Red Dwarf is crashed pretty much every other episode, if not more often. Even lampshaded in an episode:
    Kryten: Starbug was built to last, sir. This baby's crashed more times than a ZX-81.
  • Top Gear:
    • The vehicle used for the "Star In A Reasonably Priced Car" segment has rarely been crashed as such, but quite a few of the celebrities who've taken it out for a spin have been rather hard on its internals; many have been hopeless at Driving Stick, others didn't even have a driver's license when they volunteered and a large number have just been plain bad at it.
    • A segment on the Reliant Robin had Clarkson attempting to drive it without flipping over. He fails miserably.
    • The Morris Marina, thanks to a complaint about them burning one in a segment. If it appears, it is guaranteed a piano is not far behind.
    • One segment was dedicated to testing the durability of a Toyota Hilux pickup by subjecting it to this trope. Somehow, it survived multiple attempts to render it inoperable.
  • The Fall Guy's Colt Seavers wrecks his GMC Sierra every few episodes. Made worse by the fact that Colt doesn't even really own the car; makes the viewer wonder how many cars Colt has to pay for by the end of the show, seeing as how explosion-prone vehicles are in this series, especially Colt's truck. Not to mention that Colt keeps destroying everyone else's cars including every single vehicle Howie has ever been able to afford.
  • Vyvyan's Ford Angelia from The Young Ones. The last time it crashed ended in a Tear Jerker for Vyvyan since it also killed his pet hamster.

  • The Navy Lark has a chronically crashed frigate in the form of HMS Troutbridge thanks to Navigation Officer Sub-Lieutenant Phillips. It's the only ship in the navy with a corrugated hull, and once had her entire superstructure blown clean off leaving her looking like a miniature aircraft carrier, yet she still manages to not sink and keep going.

Video Games
  • Driver: San Francisco: Most of the story missions where you drive Tanner's Challenger usually winds up with the car in bad shape at the end of the mission. Given that most of the game is All Just a Dream, it's justified why it's in working condition the next time. Averted in the real life sections of the game, it's trashed in the major accident in the beginning and it's still trashed at the end of the game until the credits roll.

Web Comics
  • Narbonic: Dave Davenport goes through many cars, some of which even get wrecked off-panel.

Web Originals
  • Red vs. Blue: The Chupathingy gets destroyed every time in makes an appearance.

Western Animation
  • Donald Duck's famous 313 has to suffer from time to time.
  • Cars owned by Goofy usually fall into this trope.
  • In Dan Vs., something happening to Dan's car is usually the reason he wants revenge on the episode's subject.
  • In DuckTales the team pilot Launchpad McQuack would crash whatever he was provided with Once an Episode - including a living condor and a gadget plane that accidently folded into a suitcase mid-flight.
  • In Men In Black: The Series, the LTD suffers from an unfortunate number of catastrophic accidents per session.
  • Kevin's car in Ben 10: Alien Force repeatedly gets destroyed in various ways. This carries on through the two following shows in increasingly inventive fashions.
  • The Simpsons: Whenever they buy a car in place of their Pink Sedan and Station Wagon, it will be totaled by the end of the episode (such as the Canyonero) to keep the status quo (the only exception is the snowplow Homer bought when he started his Mr. Plow business, which was repossessed because Homer never made payments on it). Homer's sedan does get severely damaged multiple times; it becomes good as new the next week, but it still shows the damage on the front fender.
  • Transformers Animated: Captain Fanzone's car.
    Fanzone: How come your interior's so much cleaner than mine?
    Sari: Maybe because it's not on fire?
  • In Teen Titans, Cyborg's car gets destroyed pretty much in every episode it makes an appearance in.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, every time something is thrown off screen with an explosion, you can hear the same guy scream "My Car!!!".
  • While not a car, the Planet Express Ship in Futurama has been crushed, swallowed by a Venus Fly Trap, sold off, eaten by nanobots and blown up as part of a decoy.